Thursday, February 17, 2011

old-fashioned workmanship is the most durable... least, if you live in Whitby, one of the many settings for Bram Stoker's 19th century Gothic horror novel, Dracula.  According to an article in today's Whitby Gazette online, their sewer system, which dates back to Victorian times, is getting a 21st century makeover.

I must have read this article five times until this one bit of information could truly sink in:  They've been using a sewer system that's been in existence since the 19th century. 

Sure, it's not that remarkable if you compare it to Paris, where the sewer system dates to about the 14th century. Many other relics of the past have continued to be used well into modern times, such as the Puqious (system of aqueducts) near Nazcas, Peru. For Whitby to have such an old sewer system is not unique in the least. For me it is, but that's because North America tends to lack such old relics of past engineering and workmanship that are still used for modern conveniences. We don't mix the old and the new very often.
image source: Whitby Gazette
Besides, who knows whether or not the nefarious Count Dracula roamed the same Whitby sewer system over 100 years ago? (*insert evil laugh here*)

1 comment:

  1. North America doesn't indeed have much "old" architecture and infrastructure at all. That's what my fiancé noted, when he saw Helsinki for the first time... He'd like to build our house out of concrete, I'm looking at brick as the go-to material, as there are brick houses over 200 years in age that are in better shape than some buildings built 20 or 30 years ago...

    And my educational background is structural engineering studies that I intended to focus on learning to restore old architecture. Somehow, it's not too far fetched to me to go with the "English Country House" romance combined with both oldfashioned elements of masonry stoves and modern appliances and technology to create a house that looks like an old quaint building, but has a steampunkish flair and has wiring set up to accomodate future electronic appliances that will need power or optic cables... I'm a bit of a romantic nut, who thinks I can pull it all off with grace. ;)